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home made solar oven
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Make your own solar oven

Bake cookies in a solar oven

In countries like Bolivia, women are responsible for cooking family meals in a wood-fired stove. But it can take a long time to gather sticks and in the rainy season, the sticks are too wet to use. So, cooking takes a very long time.

However, Christian Aid’s partners in Bolivia and Malawi have been showing families how to use solar ovens. These are insulated boxes which cook food using the sun’s rays. The solar ovens have made a huge difference to the lives of families in the Amazon. Solar power is commonplace within the UK, from small solar chargers which can power your phone to solar farms generating massive amounts of electricity. However, a solar oven works differently, trapping the photons, or light particles, and using them to generate heat within the oven which then cooks the food. Solar ovens are also well insulated so that the heat generated stays within the oven and keeps everything cooking longer.

But could they work in Scotland?

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own solar oven:

  • A shoebox
  • Black paper
  • Glue
  • Large cardboard box
  • Additional cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Sticky tape
  • Craft scissors
  • Clear plastic or cellophane
  • Tin foil
  • Cookie dough
Step 1
Line the inside of your shoebox with black paper. Dark colours absorb the sun so make the inside of your oven as dark as possible.
black box
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Step 2
Wrap the bigger box in black paper or newspaper to stop heat escaping.
solar oven
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Step 3
Make a rectangle in the top of your large cardboard box. (Depending on your box, that might mean cutting out a rectangle or sticking the upper flaps together to make one.) Tape the clear plastic or cellophane across the rectangle.
building a solar oven
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Step 4
Screw up some more newspaper and put it in the bottom of the cardboard box. Remember to leave enough room for the shoebox. Stuff some more newspaper around the shoebox but make sure you can still close the lid on the larger box.
step 4
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Step 5
Wrap a sheet of cardboard in tinfoil. This shiny sheet will sit behind your cardboard oven and will reflect more sun in. You might want to use a stone to angle the sheet to the best sun-catching angle. If you want to catch more sun, you could use more than one foil sheet.
solar oven
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Step 6
Let the solar oven heat up for half an hour while you make the cookie dough.
Place circles of raw cookie dough in the centre of the oven and shut the lid. Make sure that the box is airtight. The cookies might take 2-3 hours!
cookies
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Step 7
Let Christian Aid Scotland know how yummy your cookies are! Take a pic and share with us via Instagram.
baking in a solar oven
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